Medical tourism is a rapidly growing global phenomenon. One of the fastest growing niches in this industry is plastic surgery tourism. Some of the surgical procedures that Americans seek overseas include facelifts, tummy tucks, hip and knee replacements, dental surgery, and breast implant surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), low cost is the major selling point that draws Americans into medical tourism. However, there are inherent dangers that one should consider carefully, when deciding to travel overseas for cosmetic procedures.
Overseas Plastic Surgery is not an Exotic Therapy; it is Real Surgery
Many people are lulled into believing that this is nothing more than a quick surgical procedure. The clever marketing by cosmetic surgeons abroad suggests one can have the procedure in the morning and go swimming in the afternoon.
However, if you have fantasies of vacationing and having surgery at the same time, tread carefully. The ASPS recommends shunning activities such as swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, or taking grueling tours after surgery. This will give your body ample time to heal as well as avoid infections.
Follow up Care May Be Lacking
After surgery, follow up care and monitoring play a big role in the healing process. If you have already returned home from an international procedure, it may be hard to go back to treat and rectify complications. Even if you seek medical help in the US, doctors may face difficulties trying to determine what kind of care you require.
Dr. Simon Ourian, Founder and Medical Director of Epione Medical Corporation strongly opposes patients traveling abroad to receive plastic surgery treatments. He says, “The risk is too high. Often, these physicians lack proper regulation and there is no recourse in case of malpractice. The discount is just not worth what you sacrifice in safety and reliability.”
Surgical Implants may not Meet FDA Standards
If you opt to have surgery overseas, remember that implants and medical devices may not always meet standards set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This can compromise your health if the device or implant is not safe and effective.
Combining Travel and Surgery is a Risky Proposition
The body is not an automaton that one can switch on and off at will. It requires careful handling after any surgical operation. The ASPS recommends postponing flying for up to 10 days after surgical procedures such as nose jobs, liposuction, breast surgery, and facelifts. This will reduce the risk of developing health complications such as blood clots.
It Is Not Always Easy To Verify Qualifications
In the US, one can easily verify the education qualifications and certification of a surgeon. However, this might be an impossible task if you opt to have plastic surgery abroad. This means that anyone can set up shop and claim to be a qualified surgeon. This can prove costly and fatal if unsuspecting patients end up under the care of such a surgeon.
Dr. Ourian offers many of the procedures that patients seek abroad at Epione Beverly Hills, including facelifts, cellulite removal, skin care, and breast implant surgery at his Beverly Hills clinic. He cautions against traveling overseas for plastic surgery, saying “There is no guarantee of product safety and effectiveness when you step outside of our borders. We have the highest quality of medical care and the highest sanitation standards in this country.”